We gathered seven more people to join our ten KHAers on a free day trip to Qumran, the Dead Sea and Jericho. Qumran was already hot by the time we got there, but we took a quick tour of the ruins, saw the cave visible from the overlook and then took the tour of the museum. The Essenes (or the Yahad Community as they are referred to at the museum) are a very interesting group that shows how diverse Judaism was in the first century.
Yes, we can confirm that we still float in the Dead Sea. The mud feels wonderful. The level of tan has increased exactly 29.8%, despite sunscreen (that didn’t last long). It was a welcome break from the hard work of picking olives. Very refreshing! Some of us took advantage of the lowest bar on earth (418 meters below sea level!).
We then went to Jericho to see Karen’s favorite tree, Zacchaeus’ sycamore tree. Then we grabbed a bite at a place on the town square. We heard good things about Hisham’s Palace and added that archeological dig to our agenda. It was quite a gem! The video showed us the wonderful mosaics before they were preserved and they looked as lavish as parts of the ruins at Ephesus. The palace of the Chalif was built during the Umayyad Empire and destroyed by an earthquake around 749 CE. We sidetracked back to the Jericho gift shop to replace some of the communion set that Will broke while tripping up the stairs. Now we will have a communion set for wine and grape juice to mail back home to use at church.
Right now there are five young kids who have come into the hotel to watch me type on the iPad as I work on the blog. They are trying to find the cords. Very cute, and then they ran away after a horn honked.